For Bastille Day, we decided to celebrate in a French restaurant and chose La Gamelle, a place we passed in front of quite a few times. Nice place with live music, it definitely has a Parisian feel and not just because of the French music or French speaking staff.
I started by ordering a cocktail: a vieux carré, made with cognac, rye, vermouth and Peychaud bitters, a recipe created in New Orleans. Quite strong, it was pretty good.
As an appetizer, I was already set on their escargots that looked beautiful in their shell and were delicious, the butter sauce being addictive (yes, I dipped lots of bread in it!).
For my entree, I went for the duck confit that was topped with an amazing foie gras butter, and served with lots of mushrooms and panisse. This was one of the best duck confit I had in a long time: the duck itself was fantastic, not too salty. I just wish there was more.
Jodi on her side went for the Bibb salad and the cheese plate. The cheese plate was a bit disappointing: first, nobody was able to tell us what cheeses were served, but we know there was manchego and Gouda, two cheeses that are not French. Well, when you order a cheese plate in a French restaurant, don't you want to get French cheese?
For dessert, we tried two classics: the Île flottante and the tarte tatin. I admit that the desserts were just ok and at that point I regretted not ordering the crème brûlée or the mousse au chocolat. The île flottante was good, but could have had more crème anglaise (vanilla bean sauce), and the tarte tatin seemed to have been warmed up for too long in the microwave, the crust being very rubbery and impossible to cut with a spoon and the apples being too hot. It was also served with creme fraiche that was way too sour...
Despite that, I had a nice dinner there and would definitely go back to La Gamelle. If you go, order the duck confit: it is succulent!
Enjoy (I did)!
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La Gamelle - 241 Bowery, New York, NY 10002